Updated: Feb 20
What is so incriminating about the Black Lives Matter movement? Maybe it is the same idea that has made black people so intimidating since the foundation of this nation. Or maybe it is the lack of inclusivity of a movement because there is no way black people can have a movement targeted to their well-being. It was sugar coated in the 60s, a civil rights movement, but now the mission is blatantly clear. Black Lives Matter. A phrase, a truth, an ideology, now a movement that has finally commenced although it has been the root of all movements in an effort to gain equality and diminish oppression. The words have finally formulated on the lips of activists and marginally oppressed groups and the world just can’t seem to handle it.
The first official Black Lives Chapter in the state of New Jersey was right here on Rutgers Campus. Black Lives Matter RU, has a mission right here on campus to enhance the learning environment and adhere to black culture at Rutgers. Tamaj Nicholson, head chairman of BLMRU has many plans for the chapter as his time as a leader. The chapter has begun to revamp a portion of the school’s curriculum, by changing 21st Century Challenges to a more adhesive and inclusive requirement that would be called Cultural Competence. The curriculum would “examine diversity, race, gender, religion, social economic class and more or less evaluate how all these different intersectionality’s intertwine,” Nicholson says.
This year Black Lives Matter RU has specifically tailored their mission to focus on RU due to lack of manpower and capital and felt they could more effectively impact the community here at RU with their resources at Rutgers. Black Lives Matter is currently working on finding a middle ground on the new protest policy at Rutgers. “[The policy] comes off as a vindictive standpoint to quiet activist groups around campus. So our immediate efforts will be to try and find a middle ground between the university and activists and if not, to dismantle these oppressive bylaws of the university,” Nicholson says.
Nicholson’s leadership role comes at a time of need for the BLMRU chapter. Due to lack of population and presence on campus, Nicholson has brought the organization back to life on campus. With many plans in store, BLMRU is back on campus and ready to spread positivity and progression. “We are all about love. We try our best to bond as much as possible. We are a family,” he says.